I broke my femur due to osteoporosis. Will this make my MS worse? Will I ever be out of wheel chair and into my walker again?
The fractured femur will not make your MS worse but can diminish your abilities through disuse atrophy or make certain MS symptoms worse such as spasticity and spasms. The loss of mobility from the fracture will also accelerate the osteoporosis, thus increasing your future risk of more fractures.
It is very important to discuss the following with your doctors:
- How can you maximize your osteoporosis treatment to increase your bone density?
- How can you get upright and walking as soon as possible so you can strengthen your bones and prevent further atrophy of muscles?
The biggest determinant of osteoporosis in people with MS is immobility. Osteoporosis accelerates in people with MS who no longer stand and walk. Studies have shown that wheelchair bound patients can decrease the rate of osteoporosis by using standing frames (CLICK HERE TO READ BLOG ON STANDING FRAMES) to get upright a couple times a day even though they can not walk. Other modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis (things you can eliminate to decrease the rate of osteoporosis) include smoking and chronic steroid use.
The sooner you are able to get upright and active again the better, but it must be done safely. This means you will need ongoing physical therapy and may require modifications to your home (ramps or grab bars) to decrease your risk of falls.
Revere Kinkel MD
Director of the UCSD Multiple Sclerosis Program